On The Prowl

Welcome once again Panther fans to another installment of "On The Prowl". Yes, I know it has been awhile. For some of you that may be new to this column I will try to bring you the latest rumblings and grumblings as I hear them.

Yes believe it not, I do like to provide fans with meaningful information, not the average regurgitated speculation you are used to reading on other sites.

Basketball
The Panthers are (9-0) with four games to go before they hit the Big East Conference games. Are the Panthers that good? Or have the opponents been that bad? I was using the Memphis game as a barometer, so again is Pitt that good? Or was the opposition that bad? I believe it is a combination of the two; the Panthers have not even begun to play their best basketball. What happens when Chris "Big Ticket" Taft starts to heat up? In my estimation everything comes down to the games versus Syracuse and Connecticut, then we will know for sure just how good this team really is. One thing I have really been impressed with is the play of sophomore Antonio Graves, he is a very different player then he was last year.

Football
I expect a shoot-out at the Fiesta Bowl two high-powered offenses going toe-to-toe, two of the top QB's in the game. Of course, this could change, as we have heard very little concerning the game, all the attention has been on the two ex-coaches Walt Harris and Urban Meyer. I find it disheartening that all the focus is on these two, and not the kids who have earned the right to play in the game. "Hey" great you both got new jobs, now let us move on with our lives.

Utah's staff has been gutted, so I am giving the advantage to the Panthers. One thing has struck me as ironic in this whole Walt Harris situation. The man that said "We need to redefine the word commitment in the teenage vocabulary". Well it appears we need to redefine the word commitment in the aging man's dictionary as well. We all know it was mission impossible for Walt to come back, but was he truly committed to the program? Only Walt Harris can answer that question.

So, who will be the next Head Coach at Pittsburgh? The smart money says Dave Wannstedt, Jon Hoke, or Bo Pelini. I personally would like to see Tom "Scrap" Bradley get the position. This guy is a very good defensive coordinator, and he has owned Western Pennsylvania over the years in the recruiting wars. Can you imagine what that would add to the Pitt/PSU lore?

Recruiting
Talk about a curve ball, nothing like a coaching change in mid-December to change the board. It appears as the Western Pennsylvania kids have committed to Pittsburgh and not Walt Harris, others such as Derrell Jones, Kevin Hughes, Steve Dell, are all taking a wait and see approach to see as to whom the Panthers name as the new head coach. Dominic Jones didn't take long to exit stage left, how committed can a kid be if he changes his mind, a week after the head coach is gone? Kevin Hughes was in his Allendale (N.J.) home not more than 45 minutes upon returning from his official visit to Pittsburgh when South Carolina came calling with an offer trying to entice the youngster into changing his mind.

It appears Greg Boone is still considering the Panthers as well, and is waiting to see who is brought in. This weekend (12/17) is a huge weekend for the Panthers we are estimating between 15-25 official visitors, of course with the coaching change the list could change as well.

I spoke to Lackawanna Junior College head coach Mark Duda recently about Windell Brown. Duda informed me that Windell played in a few games, but was having a problem attending classes. Talk about wasting talent, this kid was special. Let us hope he pulls it together and finds his niche in life.

As promised, although a little tardy here are the visitor's that we saw at the "Backyard Brawl" there were obviously more, but these are the one's we have confirmed and spoke to.

Senior LB Rico McCoy St. Johns College high school, (D.C.)
Senior WR Darrius Heyward-Bey McDonough, (Md.)
Senior S Anthony Lott McDonough (Md.)
Senior DT Derrell Jones Westlake, (Md.)
Senior RB Fela-Tunde Ogun Douglas Freeman (Va.)
Senior CB Dominic Jones Brookhaven (Ohio.)
Senior WR Keith Massey Brookhaven (Ohio.)
Senior LB Josh Miller Johnstown, (Pa.)
Senior RB LaRod Stephens Johnstown, (Pa.)
Senior RB Irvan Brown Paul V. Moore (N.Y.)
Senior OL John Brown Burrell, (Pa.)
Senior OL John Bachman Moon, (Pa.)
Senior P Anthony Piccirilli Hopewell (Pa.)
PGrad DT Craig Bokor Valley Forge (Pa.)
Senior FB Larry Federoff Hopewell, (Pa.)
Senior RB James "Alex" Allen Ursuline, (Ohio.)
Senior LB Sean Lee Upper St. Clair (Pa.)
Senior RB Shane Brooks Duquesne, (Pa.)
Senior QB George Little Duquesne, (Pa.)
Senior OL Jamie Demery Duquesne, (Pa.)
Senior FB D`Von Jeter Aliquippa, (Pa.)
Senior LB Donnell McKenzie Aliquippa, (Pa.)
Senior OL Willie Walker Aliquippa, (Pa.)
Senior QB S`Javantae Gilliam Aliquippa, (Pa.)
Senior QB Shane Murray Pittsburgh Central Catholic, (Pa.)
Senior LB Mike Barlak Gateway, (Pa.)
Senior FB Chris Bova Baldwin, (Pa.)
Senior OL Elliot Bates Chartiers-Houston, (Pa.)
Senior DT C.J. Davis West Allegheny (Pa.)
Senior OL Brandon Richardson New Brighton, (Pa.)
Senior OL Brian Mellot Austintown Fitch, (Ohio.)
Senior OL Chris Jurek Springfield-Lathrup, (Mich.)
Senior ATH Hershell Smith Monrovia (Ind.)
Junior WR Xavier Thomas Johnstown, (Pa.)
Junior OL Ryan Palmer Glenoak, (Ohio.)
Junior RB Dorin Dickerson West Allegheny, (Pa.)
Junior QB Gino Rometo Plum, (Pa.)
Junior RB Justin Hargrove Baldwin, (Pa.)
Junior OL Jason Pinkston Baldwin, (Pa.)
Junior QB Ryan Lehmeier North Hills, (Pa.)
Junior FB Jordan LeViere North Hills, (Pa.)
Junior WR Elijah Fields Duquesne, (Pa.)
Junior QB Larry Weber Upper Merion, (Pa.)
Junior QB Andrew DiDonato South Fayette, (Pa.)
Soph OL Mark McGlynn Austintown Fitch, (Ohio.)

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